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From ShareSoc member to Non-Executive Director (NED)

This blog gives you the latest topical news plus some informal comments on them from ShareSoc’s directors and other contributors. These are the personal comments of the authors and not necessarily the considered views of ShareSoc. The writers may hold shares in the companies mentioned. You can add your own comments on the blog posts, but note that ShareSoc reserves the right to remove or edit comments where they are inappropriate or defamatory.

This article reflects the opinions of its author and not necessarily those of ShareSoc.

First Impressions with Advice and Tips on Becoming a Non-Executive Director.

As I sat on the train en route to my first board meeting, I took the opportunity to reflect on my experience on becoming a Non-Executive Director (NED) at ShareSoc. I would like to share my recent insights with you, which hopefully may be helpful for those considering advancing their careers with a Non-Executive Director role.

In today’s rapidly evolving business environment, the role of a NED has become increasingly vital. NEDs can offer valuable oversight, strategic guidance and independent judgement to organisations across various sectors.

My journey started by going through the emails I receive as a member of ShareSoc, which I highly recommend you join if you have not already. You can join it here. In one of these emails, they announced their search for a Non-Executive Director, which immediately caught my attention and I decided to apply.

Over the following month, I dedicated time to preparing for the next steps.

The first step would be understanding the role of a NED. Researching qualities that successful NEDs possess revealed an extremely diverse range of skills and experiences. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, certain qualities such as strategic thinking, financial acumen, industry expertise and strong communication skills are highly desirable and useful.

Reflecting on my own professional background, leadership experience and areas of expertise helped me to determine if they aligned with the responsibilities of a Non-Executive Director.

My passion and belief that investing can positively impact an individual’s life further motivated me to pursue this opportunity at ShareSoc.

The next step was completing the application. I tailored my CV to highlight my relevant skills, experience and achievements. A useful tip would be to emphasise your ability to provide strategic oversight, mitigate risks, and add value to the organisation’s board.

I then underwent a rigorous evaluation process, including interviews and reference checks by the ShareSoc nomination committee, comprised of other directors. As you may have guessed by now, I was fortunate enough to have made it through!

Once I was selected for the Sharesoc NED role, the third step was dedicating time to familiarising myself with ShareSoc’s governance structure, policies, systems and expectations.

Understanding the company’s culture, values, and strategic priorities is crucial if you want to become a useful Non-Executive Director who can contribute to achieving the organisation’s strategic objectives.

I have also met with fellow board members and key partners in order to learn from them and foster collaboration for effective decision-making.

As a NED, I expect the role to be dynamic and ever-evolving. Staying informed about the latest industry trends, emerging risks and best practices in corporate governance is essential. Actively engaging with fellow directors, attending board meetings regularly and participating constructively in discussions can enhance your effectiveness as a Non-Executive Director.

At the first Board meeting I attended in London, the Chairman oversaw a hybrid meeting with approximately ten ShareSoc directors and staff members physically present in the room, and an additional five participating virtually via video conference.

Various topics were on the agenda and it was very interesting to hear about these and make contributions.

I volunteered to join the Education Committee to develop, enhance, and refine our investment educational materials for our members, which you can find here. Stay tuned for updates in the coming weeks and months on this topic, and please feel free to reach out with any ideas you may have via our contact page.

I am looking forward to embarking on this new chapter in my career as a ShareSoc Non-Executive Director, contributing positively to the governance and success of this vital organisation for investors. And, of course, I hope to meet some of you soon.

Ram Sachdev, Non-Executive Director at ShareSoc

5 Comments
  1. david owen says:

    Thank you Ram, for your excellent NED recent insights above (April 26, 2024). We do hope you (our ShareSoc) will be able in the near future to bring change to FCA / FSCS, enabling regulated protection for us small private shareholders, who can sometimes feel akin to pheasants, amusing the perpetrators of Big E shooting and shorting !
    (1) — “To put you in the picture, Wellesley Finance Ltd, the company that went into a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) on 25 September 2020, has failed to pay back investors’ payments. It is complicated, so I will try to give you some insight. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is to visit a selection of fund managers this year to inspect their valuation practices for private equities and other unquoted companies. Toxic loans blight property peer-to-peer lender Wellesley – with more than half its borrowers behind on payments or in default.”
    By Cliff Weight, Director, ShareSoc & JAMES BURTON FOR THE DAILY MAIL – UPDATED: 11:57, 8 August 2017
    (2) — Roger Lawson, Deputy Chairman, 3/6/2016 © ShareSoc (Last Revised 3-Jun-16) said ;
    “The AIM 20 Report actually says in the introduction that over 3,500 companies have joined AIM in the last 20 years. How many are left? Well it does not say but the answer is 1,044 according to the last published AIM Factsheet from the LSE. Now some will have moved to the main market, and some will have been taken over (not necessarily at a profit for the shareholders from their original investment), but clearly there is a very large amount of turnover in AIM companies. Many will have gone bust or been delisted. Or as Claer Barrett said in the Financial Times: “20 years of a few winners and many losers”. She reported that over the last 20 years investors would have lost money on 72% of AIM companies, and in more than 30% of cases they would have lost more than 95% of their investment.”
    (3) — BIG E SHORTING / DRIVING DOWN LSE SP’S ? All of these Big E companies globally (Western ?) have NED’s, who appear to relish M & A’s after prolonged SP downward pressure, and dismal compulsory returns to the aquired company shareholders !
    (4) — We at Worcester Group would welcome a visit from you Ram, (Education Committee) to hear your (ShareSoc’s) thoughts and plans to hopefully dilute the consequences of what Claer Barrett so accurately describes above. We all very well know that “you pays your money and you takes your chance !” mantra. But we shouldn’t feel like pheasants ! … should we ? Thank you again for your insights and hopefully visit.

    • Ram Sachdev says:

      Hi David,

      Thanks for the comment. I am glad you enjoyed the blog post.

      All of us at ShareSoc are committed to improving investing for retail investors, making it safer and better regulated. This is something I will push for as well.

      We know there are plenty of problems that need fixing as you have mentioned, and we are looking at them and how we can best address them. Your insights as a ShareSoc member are extremely important and feel free to let us know about issues that concern you.

      With regards to the Wellesley Finance issue you are talking about, Mark (another sharesoc director) has said we have written about it. Hopefully this may be useful for you.
      I’ll post the link to the post about it.

      Thanks for the invite. Once we are further along with our educational materials I would be glad to fill your group in. We are just starting the project now.
      Again ShareSoc member thoughts are extremely important and useful.

      Thanks
      Ram

  2. Jema Arnold says:

    Congratulations on a well written piece Ram!
    We are delighted to have you on the Board.
    Best,
    Jema

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